Thursday, 31 July 2014

Speckle-chested piculet

Picumnus steidachneri

Photo by Gerard Gorman (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
speckle-chested piculet (en); pica-pau-anão-malhado (pt); picumne perlé (fr); carpinterito perlado (es); perlenbrust-zwergspecht (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Piciformes
Family Picidae

Range:
This species is endemic to Peru, only being found in the central Huallaga valley and very locally in the Utcubamba valley in the Andes of north-western San Martín, in the north of the country.

Size:
These tiny woodpeckers are 10 cm long and weigh 9-11 g.

Habitat:
The speckle-chested piculet is found in moist tropical forests, favouring mountain forests with many epiphytes and tall second growth. They occur at altitudes of 1.100-2.200 m.

Diet:
They forage alone or in small groups, searching for invertebrates in tree bark.

Breeding:
Speckle-chested piculets excavate nest cavities in soft or rotten wood of old trees. the female lays 2-4 eggs which are incubated for 12-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 21-24 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - EN (Endangered)
This species has a relatively small breeding range and the global population is estimated at 6.000-15.000 individuals. There is no reliable information on population trends, but the speckle-chested piculet is suspected to lose 65% of suitable habitat within its range over the next 13 years based on a model of Amazonian deforestation, so a rapid decline is expected in the near future. Logging as been a problem in the region since at least the 1930s, and deforestation for coca plantations became a serious problem in the 1980s, but has ceased more recently. Continuing population growth and immigration have led to heavy disturbance of forests both through clear-cutting and selective logging, as well as conversion to agriculture, particularly coffee plantations and pastures. Although part of the species range is located within the Alto Mayo Protected Forest, forest clearance has continued unabated.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Tamarugo conebill

Conirostrum tamarugense

Photo by Gonzalo Gonzalez (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
tamarugo conebill (en); figuinha-do-tamarugo (pt); conirostre des tamarugos (fr); comesebo de los tamarugales (es); rotstirn-spitzschnabel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Thraupidae

Range:
This species is only found breeding in a few locations within Pampa del Tamarugal, in northern Chile. They migrate north to winter other parts of northern Chile and in south-western Peru.

Size:
These birds are 12-13 cm long and weigh about 10 g.

Habitat:
The tamarugo conebill is mostly found breeding in mature tamarugo Prosopis tamarugo plantations, but can also use riverine scrublands, agricultural land and citrus groves. outside the breeding season, it occurs primarily in arid Gynoxys and Polylepis stands. They can be found from sea level up to an altitude of 4.100 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on caterpillars, particularly those of Leptotes trigemmatus.

Breeding:
Tamarugo conebills breed in September-December, coinciding with the seasonal blooming of tamarugo flowers which provide food for the caterpillars the birds rely on. They nest in a deep, round cup made of small twigs, feathers, wool and the rachis of tamarugo leaves. The nest is placed in a descending or horizontal branch near the centre of a tamarugo tree, about 3-6 m above the ground. The female lays 3 pale grey eggs with brown spots. There is no available information regarding the incubation and fledgling periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - VU (Vulnerable)
This species has a relatively small and fragmented breeding range. The global population has been estimated at 19.000-51.000 individuals, but this estimate may by outdated. The population is possibly increasing, owing to the expansion and regeneration of tamarugo forests. Tamarugo was almost extirpated by the time the Chilean government began a replantation programme in the 1930s. The tamarugo is managed mainly for the production of sheep forage and by the 1970s, 146 square quilometres had been reforested, and protected within the Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve. Potential threats include ongoing attempts to control L. trigemmatus with chemicals or parasitoids, the risk of exhaustion of the aquifers used to water taramugo plantation due to their use to supply the city of Iquique, and the widespread cutting of Polylepis woodland in the wintering areas.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Yellow-bellied tyrannulet

Ornithion semiflavum

Photo by Nick Athanas (Antpitta)

Common name:
yellow-bellied tyrannulet (en); poiaeiro-de-barriga-amarela (pt); tyranneau à ventre jaune (fr); mosquerito ventriamarillo (es); gelbbauch-kleintyrann (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

Range:
This species is found from southern Mexico to western Panama.

Size:
These birds are 8 cm long and weigh 7-8 g.

Habitat:
The yellow-bellied is mostly found in moist tropical forests, also using forest edges, second growths, moist scrublands, plantations and rural gardens. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

Diet:
They forage alone or in pairs, picking arthropods from the foliage.

Breeding:
Yellow-bellied tyrannulets possibly breed in March-June. They nest in a globular structure, well camouflaged among the foliage or in a dead tree. There is no further information regarding the reproduction of this species.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 50.000-500.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Racket-tailed coquette

Discosura longicaudus

Photo by Robson Czaban (Beija-flores)

Common name:
racket-tailed coquette (en); bandeirinha (pt); coquette à raquettes (fr); rabudito de raquetas (es); diskuselfe (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

Range:
This South American species is found in two disjunct areas, one from southern Venezuela and the Guyanas south to the Amazon river, and another along the coast of eastern Brazil, from Rio Grande do Norte to Rio de Janeiro.

Size:
The males are 10 cm long, including the long tail streamers, while the females are 7-8 cm long. They weigh 3-4 g.

Habitat:
The racket-tailed coquette is mostly found in moist tropical forests, particularly along rivers and streams, but also uses scrubby, moist savannas and second growths. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 700 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on the nectar of various flowers, namely Anacardium occidentale, Leonitis petaefolia, Leonurus sibiricus, Caesalpinoidae dicymbe  and Calliandra sp. They also take some small invertebrates.

Breeding:
Racket-tailed coquettes nest in a cup made of soft plant materials and lined with soft plant fibres and seed down. The nest is built solely by the female and placed in a tree, 3-6 m above the ground, where she lays 2 eggs. The female incubates the eggs alone for 13-14 days. The chicks are raised by the female alone and fledge about 20 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as uncommon. It is suspected to lose 9-10% of suitable habitat within its distribution over the next 12 years, based on a model of Amazonian deforestation, so a small decline is expected in the near future.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

White-tailed shrike

Lanioturdus torquatus

Photo by Paul Bourdin (A Birder in the Philippines)

Common name:
white-tailed shrike (en); picanço-palrador (pt); lanielle à queue blanche (fr); laniotordo (es); drosselwürger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Platysteiridae

Range:
This African species is found in south-western Angola and in north-western and central Namibia.

Size:
These birds are 14-15 cm long and weigh 25-45 g.

Habitat:
The white-tailed shrike is mostly found in dry savannas, particularly mopane Colosphermum mopane, and mixed Acacia, cluster-leafs Terminalia and bushwillow Combretum woodlands. They also use dry savannas, rocky areas, and rivers and streams.

Diet:
They mainly hunt large insects, namely moths, butterflies and caterpillars, stick insects, ant lions, mantids, beetles, grasshoppers and termite alates, as well as spiders.

Breeding:
White-tailed shrikes can breed all year round, but with a peak in November-March. The nest is a shallow cup of woven twigs and rootlets, usually placed in scrub about 2-3 metres above ground. The female lays 2-3 pale green eggs with reddish-brown spots, which are incubated by both sexes for about 15 days. There is no available information regarding the fledgling period.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as common. The population is suspected to be expanding in the east of its range following desertification.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Weka

Gallirallus australis

Photo by Sid Mosdell (Wikipedia)

Common name:
weka (en); frango-d'água-austral (pt); râle wéka (fr); rascón weka (es); wekaralle (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Gruiformes
Family Rallidae

Range:
This species is endemic to New Zealand, being found in scattered location along the eastern coast of North Islands,  in the northern and south-western areas of South Island, in the islands of Chatham and Pitt, and in several islands around Stewart Island.

Size:
These birds are sexually dymorphic in size. The females are smaller with 46-50 cm in length and weigh 350-1.035 g, while the males are 50-60 cm long and weigh 530-1.600 g. They have a wingspan of 50-60 cm.

Habitat:
The weka uses most available habitats within their range, including temperate forests and grasslands, freshwater marshes and lakes and scrublands, and to a lesser extent coastal sand dunes, rocky shorelines and sandy or pebble beaches. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

Diet:
They are omnivorous, taking both animals and plant material, including seeds, berries, leaves and grasses, as well as earthworms, adult and larval insects, snails and slugs, spiders, frogs, lizards, mice, small rabbits and small birds.

Breeding:
Wekas can breed all year round. They are monogamous and may pair for life. they nest on the ground, in dense cover such as tussocks, burrows, tree hollows, under logs, stumps or rocks, or even hidden in buildings. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of a shallow cup made of woven grasses, lilies, twigs and moss, lined with finer grasses, feathers and hair. The female lays 1-4 eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 26-28 days. The chicks leave the nest 2-3 days after hatching, but remain under the care of the parents for about 2 months. They reach sexual maturity at 1 year of age and each pair may raise up to 4 broods per year.

Conservation:
IUCN status - VU (Vulnerable)
This species has a relatively large but fragmented breeding range, and the global population is estimated at 71.000-118.000 individuals. Although different sub-population may have different trends, the global population is suspected to be declining rapidly due to a combination of habitat clearance and degradation, road kills, a wide range of introduced mammalian predators and competitors, combinations of drought and flood years, poison baits used for possum and rabbit control, and possibly disease. Also, they have been eradicated from several islands due to possible risks to other native biota, and removal from Pitt and other islands is a future possibility.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Moustached antpitta

Grallaria alleni

Photo by Steve Blain (Steve Blain presents "Bird Porn")

Common name:
moustached antpitta (en); tuvacuçu-de-bigodes (pt); grallaire à moustaches (fr); tororoí bigotudo (es); grauscheitel-ameisenpitta (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Formicariidae

Range:
This species is only found in the western slope of the Central Andes in Colombia, and both Andean slopes in northern Ecuador.

Size:
These birds are 16-17 cm long and weigh 60-80 g.

Habitat:
The moustached antpitta is found in dense understorey of moist, mossy cloud forests, particularly in ravines and steep slopes. They are present at altitudes of 1.800-2.500 m.

Diet:
They forage on the ground, taking earthworms and insects, namely katydids.

Breeding:
Moustached antpittas nest in a cup made of dead leaves, sticks and moss, placed on a small branch or trunk of a tree, about 1,5 m above the ground. The female lays 2 unmarked eggs. There is no available information about the incubation period, but the chicks fledge 15-17 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - VU (Vulnerable)
This species has a relatively small and fragmented breeding range, and the global population is estimated at 1.500-7.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be declining a a slow rate due to habitat loss. Since the 17th century, most of the cloud forest in the central Andes of Colombia has been logged, settled and converted to agriculture, while the west Andean slopes in Ecuador have also been strongly altered and fragmented. The few remaining areas suffer from human encroachment and clearance for agriculture and opium production. In the east Andes some well protected forests remain with roughly 60% of the range of the moustached antpitta in that region being included in five protected areas.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Slaty-bellied tesia

Tesia olivea

Photo by Christoph Moning (Oriental Bird Images)

Common name:
slaty-bellied tesia (en); tesia-de-barriga-ardósia (pt); tésie à ventre ardoise (fr); tesia pizarrosa (es); goldscheiteltesia (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Sylviidae

Range:
This species is found from eastern Nepal and extreme north-eastern India to southern China, and south to Myanmar, north-western Thailand, northern Laos and northern Vietnam.

Size:
These birds are 9-10 cm long and weigh 6-9 g.

Habitat:
The slaty-bellied tesia is mostly found in dense undergrowth of moist tropical forests, usually favouring damp areas. They also use freshwater marshes, rivers and streams.

Diet:
They feed on adult and larval insects and other invertebrates.

Breeding:
There is no available information regarding the reproduction of this species.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is reported to be locally common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Bearded wood-partridge

Dendrortyx barbatus

(Photo from Polski Kurnik)

Common name:
bearded wood-partridge (en); codorniz-de-Veracruz (pt); colin barbu (fr); colín barbudo (es); bartwachtel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Galliformes
Family Odontophoridae

Range:
This species is endemic to Mexico, being confined to a few areas in Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra Madre de Oaxaca, north and east of Mexico City.

Size:
These birds are 22-36 cm long and weigh 400-460 g.

Habitat:
The bearded wood-partridge is mostly found in moist, mountain evergreen forests and adjacent pine-oak forests with dense understorey, also using forest edges, second growths and shade coffee plantations. They are present at altitudes of 900-3.100 m.

Diet:
They feed on fruits, nuts, berries and other plant matter, as well as some small invertebrates.

Breeding:
Bearded wood-partridges breed in February-June. They are probably monogamous and nest in a deep depression on the ground, lined with palm leaves, where the female lays 4-8 dull white eggs which are incubated for 28-32 days. The chicks are precocial, leaving the nest soon after hatching, and become able to fly at 7-14 days of age. They reach sexual maturity at 1-2 years of age.

Conservation:
IUCN status - VU (Vulnerable)
This species has a relatively small and fragmented breeding range. The global population is estimated at 3.600 individuals and believed to be declining rapidly due to habitat loss and degradation. With the exception of the remote Sierra Gorda, most of the bearded wood-partridge range in affected by habitat destruction and fragmentation as a result of logging, clearance for agriculture, road-building, tourist developments, intensive urbanization, sheep-ranching and grazing. Conversion from shade to sun coffee is a serious threat to some areas, while the fragmented populations are susceptible to subsistence hunting, predators, genetic retrogression and further human encroachment. Conservation action underway are limited to environmental education, through the development of posters and roadway signs.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Grounscraper thrush

Psophocichla litsitsirupa

Photo by Ian White (Flickr)

Common name:
groundscraper thrush (en); tordo-de-peito-malhado (pt); merle litsitsipura (fr); zorzal litsitsirupa (es); akaziendrossel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Turdidae

Range:
This species occurs in two separate areas in Africa. The subspecies P.l. simensis is only found in the highlands of Ethiopia and Eritrea, while three other subspecies occur from Tanzania, southern D.R. Congo and Angola south to northern South Africa.

Size:
These birds are 20-24 cm long and weigh 65-85 g.

Habitat:
The groundscraper thrush is mostly found in dry savannas and woodlands, particularly miombo Brachystegia and mopane Colosphermum mopane, and to a lesser extent Acacia. They also use dry grasslands and scrublands, moorland, pastures, plantations, arable land and rural gardens. This species occurs from sea level up to an altitude of 4.100 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on adult and larval insects, namely beetles, flies, termites, crickets and grasshoppers, but also take spiders, isopods, slugs, earthworms, skinks and fruits.

Breeding:
Groundscraper thrushes can breed all year round, varying among different parts of their range. The nest is an open cup made of stems, grass, rootlets, leaves and weeds secured with spider web and lined with feathers. It is typically placed in a vertical or horizontal fork against the tree trunk, often near the nests of fork-tailed drongos Dicrurus adsimilis, possibly to take advantage of the drongo's aggressive nest defence tactics. The female lays 2-4 eggs which are incubated by both sexes for 14-15 days. The chicks are raised by both parents and fledge 16 days after hatching, but only become fully independent about 6 weeks later.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is reported to be uncommon to common. The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the impacts of habitat modification on population sizes.

Monday, 21 July 2014

European bee-eater

Merops apiaster

Photo by Pierre Dalous (Wikipedia)

Common name:
European bee-eater (en); abelharuco-comum (pt); guêpier d'Europe (fr); abejaruco europeo (es); bienenfresser (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Coraciiformes
Family Meropidae

Range:
This species breeds in southern Europe, from Portugal to northern France and east to the Ukraine and Turkey, and into south-western Asia through Israel, Iraq and Iran, into south-western Russia, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan. They also breed in North Africa from Morocco to north-western Libya. They migrate south to winter in sub-Saharan Africa, in a few scattered areas in the Sahel between Guinea and Chad, and in East Africa from southern Uganda to north-eastern South Africa and west to Angola. There is also a resident population in South Africa and southern Namibia.

Size:
These birds are 25-29 cm long and have a wingspan of 36-50 cm. They weigh 44-78 g.

Habitat:
The European bee-eater is found in various open habitats, including dry scrublands, dry savannas, dry grasslands, pastures, temperate forests, arable land and inland wetlands such as lakes and rivers. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.400 m.

Diet:
They catch their prey in flight, mainly hunting bees, wasp and hornets, but also other insects such as dragonflies, and small vertebrates such as lizards and frogs.

Breeding:
European bee-eaters are mainly monogamous, although polygamy has also been observed. They breed in May-July and nest in a burrow excavated by both sexes on a vertical earth or sand bank. The female lays 4-8 white eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 3-4 weeks. The chicks are fed by both parents and sometimes also helpers and fledge 28-32 days after hatching, but only become fully independent about 1 month later.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 2,9-12 million individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to loss of suitable prey due to widespread application if pesticides, loss of nesting sites through canalisation of rivers, increasing agricultural efficiency and establishment of monocultures, development of wilderness areas and shooting for sport, for food and because it is considered a crop pest.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Little friarbird

Philemon citreogularis

Photo by Jeremy Ringma (Flickr)

Common name:
little friarbird (en); frade-de-garganta-amarela (pt); polochion à menton jaune (fr); filemón goligualdo (es); glattstirn-lederkopf (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Meliphagidae

Range:
This species is found in eastern and northern Australia, as well as in southern New Guinea.

Size:
These birds are 25-29 cm long and weigh 48-84 g.

Habitat:
The little friarbird is mostly found in dry savannas and dry tropical forests dominated by Eucalyptus, but also uses moist tropical forests, mangroves, dry scrublands, and even urban areas. They tend to favour areas near water and occur from sea level up to an altitude of 900 m.

Diet:
They mostly forage alone, in pairs or small flocks, but can join mixed groups with other honeyeaters. These birds feed mainly on nectar and invertebrates such as insects and spiders, but also take flowers, fruits and seeds.

Breeding:
Little friarbirds are monogamous and breed in August-April. They nest in a large, deep open cup made of grasses and lined with finer grasses and other soft materials. The nest is almost always placed in a tree overhanging water. The female lays 2-4 eggs which she incubates alone for 13 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 14 days after hatching. Each pair raises 1-2 broods per season.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as perhaps common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Collared flycatcher

Ficedula albicollis

Photo by Andrej Chudy (Flickr)

Common name:
collared flycatcher (en); papa-moscas-de-colar (pt); gobemouche à collier (fr); papamoscas collarino (es); halsbandschnäpper (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Muscicapidae

Range:
This species breeds in eastern Europe, as far west as north-eastern France and Italy, as far north as Lithuania and Belarus, and south to Bulgaria and east into near Russia as far as the Volga river. They migrate south to winter from southern Kenya and Uganda to Zimbabwe.

Size:
These birds are 12-14 cm long and have a wingspan of 22-124 cm. They weigh 10,5-16 g.

Habitat:
The collared flycatchers breeds mainly in temperate forests, favouring open forests and forest edges, but also use rural gardens, plantations, arable land and urban areas. They winter in dry savannas.

Diet:
During the breeding season they feed mainly on caterpillars, but also take other arthropods such as butterflies and moths, ants, and beetles. They hunt either by sallying out from a perch or by picking their prey from the foliage or the ground.

Breeding:
Collared flycatchers are mostly monogamous and breed in April-July. They nest in a natural or artificial hole in a tree, wall, or building, up to 15 m above the ground. There the female lays 5-7 eggs which she incubates alone for 12-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 15-18 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 4,2-7,2 million individuals. Data from 21 European countries indicate the population has undergone a moderate increase over the last 3 decades.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Moustached puffbird

Malacoptila mystacalis

Photo by Julian Londono (Wikipedia)

Common name:
moustached puffbird (en); barbudo-de-bigodes (pt); tamatia à moustaches (fr); buco bigotudo (es); schnurrbart-faulvogel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Galbuliformes
Family Bucconidae

Range:
This species is patchily distributed along the mountain ranges of western Colombia and northern Venezuela.

Size:
These birds are 20-23 cm long and weigh 47-50 g.

Habitat:
The moustached puffbird is mostly found in the undergrowth of moist tropical forests, also using dry tropical forests and second growths. they are present at altitudes of 350-2.100 m.

Diet:
They possibly feed on large insects and small vertebrates.

Breeding:
Moustached puffbirds breed in February-September. They nest is holes excavated into earth banks. There is no further information regarding the reproduction of this species.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a relatively large but fragmented breeding range. Although the global population size has not been quantified, this species is described as uncommon to fairly uncommon, but the population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Many-coloured Chaco-finch

Saltatricula multicolor

Photo by Victor Merlino (Ecoregistros)

Common name:
many-coloured Chaco-finch (en); bico-de-pimenta-chaquenho (pt); saltatricule du Chaco (fr); pepitero chico (es); vielfarbenammer (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Emberizidae

Range:
This species is found from south-eastern Bolivia and western Paraguay  south to northern Argentina, Uruguay and marginally into south-western Brazil.

Size:
These birds are 18 cm long and weigh 20-25 g.

Habitat:
This species is mostly found in dry scrublands, but also uses dry tropical forests from sea level up to an altitude of 600 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on grass seeds but are also known to feed faculatively on sap released from drillings of the white-fronted woodpecker Melanerpes cactorum.

Breeding:
The many-coloured Chaco-finch breed in October-March. They nest in an open cup made of grass and scrub stems, lined with feathers, plant fibres and hair. The nest is placed 1-2 m above the ground in a small tree or scrub. The female lays 3-4 eggs which are incubated for 14 days. The chicks fledge 8 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to the likelihood of ongoing habitat destruction.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Yellow-bellied tit

Parus venustulus

Photo by Tom Beeke (Oriental Bird Images)

Common name:
yellow-bellied tit (en); chapim-de-barriga-amarela (pt); mésange gracieuse (fr); carbonero ventrigualdo (es); schmuckmeise (de)

Taxonomy:
Order passeriformes
Family Paridae

Range:
This species is endemic to China, being found in the eastern parts of the country from Liaoning in the north to Guangdong and Sichuan in the south.

Size:
These birds are 10-11 cm long and weigh 9-12,5 g.

Habitat:
The yellow-bellied tit is found in tropical and temperate forests, including broadleaf subtropical and evergreen forests, mixed conifer and deciduous forests. They also use arable land and occur at altitudes of 350-3.050 m.

Diet:
They feed on small invertebrates and larvae, seeds and small fruits.

Breeding:
Yellow-bellied tits breed in May-July. They nest in natural tree cavities lined with green moss, leaves, plant fibres, wool and animal hair. The female lays 5-7 eggs which are incubated for 12 days. The chicks fledge 16-17 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described and, although the global population size has not been quantified, it is reported to be locally common. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Pink-headed fruit-dove

Ptilinopus porphyreus

(Photo from Federação Ornitológica Catarinense)

Common name:
pink-headed fruit-dove (en); pombo-da-fruta-de-cabeça-rosa (pt); ptilope porphyre (fr); tilopo cuellirosa (es); rothals-flaumfußtaube (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae

Range:
This species is endemic to Indonesia, being found in the mountain chains of Sumatra, Java and Bali.

Size:
These birds are 28-29 cm long.

Habitat:
The pink-headed fruit-dove is mostly found in mountain rainforests and high-altitude scrublands, occasionally also using exotic tree plantations. They are present at altitudes of 1.200-2.800 m.

Diet:
They feed on small fruits and berries, particularly figs.

Breeding:
These birds breed in March-October. The male builds the nest, consisting of an untidy platform made of twigs and placed in a fork in a tree. There the female lays a single eggs which is incubated by both parents for 15-17 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 20-23 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a relatively large breeding range is described as rather uncommon, although locally abundant in suitable habitat in Sumatra and uncommon in Java and Bali. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction through large-scale deforestation, particularly at lower altitudes.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Northern waterthrush

Parkesia noveboracensis

Photo by Simon Barrette (Wikipedia)

Common name:
northern waterthrush (en); mariquita-boreal (pt); paruline des ruisseaux (fr); reinita charquera norteña (es); uferwaldsänger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Parulidae

Range:
This species breeds in northern North America, from Alaska and the Northwet territories to Newfoundland, and south to Oregon, Montana, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Virginia. They migrate south to winter from Mexico and southern Florida, across Central America and the Caribbean and into the Guyanas, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and extreme northern Peru.

Size:
These birds are 12-15 cm long and have a wingspan of 21-24 cm. They weigh 13-25 g.

Habitat:
The northern waterthrush is mostly found breeding in wooded or scrubby bogs and marshes, also using the vegetation along northern lakes and rivers as well as temperate scrublands and forests. Outside the breeding season they use moist tropical forests and scrublands, mangroves, marshes, rivers and plantations.

Diet:
They may forage on the ground, among the foliage or in water, taking adult and larval insects, spiders, snails, crustaceans and small freshwater fishes.

Breeding:
Northern waterthrushes are monogamous and breed in May-August. They nest in a cup made of grasses, leaves, moss, pine needles and bark, which is lined with hair and usually placed on the ground among the roots of a tree, under upturned trees, along a bank, in a fern clump, or in a moss-covered stump, frequently under cover. The female lays 3-6 white eggs with brown and grey spots, which she incubates alone for 12-13 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 9-10 days after hatching, but only become fully independent some 3 weeks later.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 13 million individuals. The population has had a stable trend over the last 4 decades. Potential threats to the northern waterthrush include habitat loss and degradation through drainage of marshes and swamps for agriculture, as well as the direct and indirect effects of pesticides.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

White-throated spadebill

Platyrinchus mystaceus

Photo by Dario Sanches (Flickr)

Common name:
white-throated spadebill (en); patinho (pt); platyrhynque à moustaches (fr); picoplano bigotudo (es); gelbscheitel-breitschnabeltyrann (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

Range:
This species is found from Costa Rica south to central Bolivia, Paraguay, southern Brazil and extreme north-eastern Argentina, only being present east of the Andes mountain chain. They are mostly absent from the Amazon river basin.

Size:
These birds are 9,5-10 cm long and weigh 9-10 g.

Habitat:
The white-throated spadebill is mostly found in moist tropical forests, also using dry tropical forests, scrublands and dense second growths near forest edges. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.150 m.

Diet:
They forage among the foliage taking small arthropods.

Breeding:
White-throated spadebills nest in a small, deep cup made of grass and plant fibres, usually placed in a fork in a sapling about 1 m above the ground. The female lays 2 yellowish-white eggs. There is no information regarding the incubation and fledgling periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status -  LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as fairly common. The population is suspected to be declining due to the effects of deforestation in the lowland parts of its range.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Beach thick-knee

Esacus giganteus

Photo by Greg Schechter (Wikipedia)

Common name:
beach thick-knee (en); alcaravão-dos-recifes (pt); œdicnème des récifs (fr); alcaraván picogruesso australiano (es); rifftriel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Charadriiformes
Family Burhinidae

Range:
This species is found along the coasts of south-eastern Asia and northern and eastern  Australia, from the Andaman Islands, in India, through peninsular Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, and into the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and from northern Western Australia to south-eastern New South Wales, in Australia.

Size:
These birds are 55-57 cm long and weigh around 1 kg.

Habitat:
The beach thick-knee is found in various coastal habitats, mainly rocky and sandy intertidal, mudflats and tide pools, also using sea cliffs and rocky offshore islands, riffs and coral ridges, coastal lagoons, mangroves and salt marshes.

Diet:
They feed on marine invertebrates, particularly crabs such as the light blue soldier crab Mictyris longicarpus and the dark blue soldier crab M. platycheles.

Breeding:
Beach thick-knees breed in September-November. They nest on bare ground, usually on sandbanks, sandpits, or islands in estuaries, coral ridges, among mangroves or in sand surrounded by short grass and scattered trees. The female lays a single egg, which is incubated by both parents for 30 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching, but remain under the care of both parents for 7-12 months.

Conservation:
IUCN status - NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a very large breeding range, but the population is estimated at just 4.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to human disturbance of beach habitats, and predation by introduced mammals.